Television

Swaraj settles liquor advertising issue. Or does she?

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Information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj - in an interview to DD National over the weekend - clarified what kind of surrogate advertising will be allowed on television channels beaming into Indian homes without attracting the government's ire for violation of the recently passed cable TV amendments imposing the advertising and programming code on private TV channels.



"Where a product is being manufactured and a brand has been built around it by the liquor company, advertising for that product will not considered as surrogate advertising and will be permitted," she told DD National. "Where the product is not being manufactured in substantial quantities, it will be seen as surrogate advertising and will be disallowed."

She gave the example of the UB group's Kingfisher beer which also retails Kingfisher Mineral water. "Advertising for Kingfisher will be allowed," she said. "However, advertising for McDowell's cricket bats and balls will be perceived as surrogate advertising."



Private television channels have been howling against the loss of revenue due to the government's stance on surrogate liquor advertising. And they have been lobbying hard against it. Swaraj's statement puts a nail in their coffin.



However, it's quite likely that they will protest against what constitutes substantial quantity of a product, which is what they have not been clear about. Guess only Aunty Sushma can answer that.

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